|Design could be a deciding factor|
While many apartments are protected by steel doors and numeric or biometric security, some survey participants said that having their own atomic bomb was the ultimate guarantee of protecting their property, while others admitted that it was the perception that the people in neighboring apartments either already had a bomb, or were thinking about buying one, that motivated them. "I'm concerned that my prestige will be lessened if all my neighbors have bombs and I don't" said 37 year-old Kim.
Some market watchers say that atomic bombs are likely to be this summer's must-have items at upmarket Seoul department stores, as wealthy families vie with each other to enhance their social status. With many of South Korea's aging nuclear reactors suffering multiple failures in recent years, there are also fears that it will only be a matter of time before they kill thousands and have to be shut down, creating a limited supply of enriched uranium for Korean families to consume, helping to boost early demand.
Korea's two biggest consumer chaebol - FQ and Seongsan - are already locked in a bitter competition to launch the weapon with the most features. FQ have said that theirs will be Internet connected, while Seongsan have said they are working on a portable bomb, and that it will be sold with one-year's free supply of Seongsan Health iodine tablets. Design is expected to be an important factor, with both promising stylish curves for their products. But the recent food-safety concerns following the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster have led to both companies advising families to keep their bombs away from their fridges, although some reports on the Internet have suggested that placing one next to a kimchi pot appears to help the fermentation process.
The consumer demand has presented unexpected problems for the country's other conglomerates however, which were hoping to use Korea's first generation of atomic bombs for rapid earth-moving as part construction projects to create new areas for housing. According to the left-wing Hankyoreh newspaper, the government was also planning to complete the Four Rivers canal project in record time by exploding several bombs to clear obstacles such as mountains out of the way.
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